www.xinhuanet.com
XINHUA online
CHINA VIEW
VIEW CHINA
 Breaking News Opposition leader wins Ukrainian presidential run-off: exit poll    EXIT POLL SHOWS YUSHCHENKO WINNER IN UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF    Paris Club agrees on Iraq debt reduction    APEC leaders' meeting winds up with declaration on trade, human security    Pohamba formally announced Namibian new president     Iraq sets Jan. 30 as election day    
Home  
China  
World  
Business  
Technology  
Opinion  
Culture/Edu  
Sports  
Entertainment  
Metrolife  
Travel  
Weather  
  About China
  Map
  History
  Constitution
  CPC & Other Parties
  State Organs
  Local Leadership
  White Papers
  Statistics
  Major Projects
  English Websites
  BizChina
- Conferences & Exhibitions
- Investment
- Bidding
- Enterprises
- Policy update
- Technological & Economic Development Zones

   News Photos Voice People BizChina Feature About us   
Fossil ape may be father of all apes
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-20 17:56:40

    BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- A 13 million years old ape living in what is now Spain may have been the last common father of all apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans.

กก
A 13 million years old ape living in what is now Spain may have been the last common father of all apesThe fossil gives us a missing link, not directly between humans and an apelike ancestor, but between great apes and lesser apes such as gibbons.

A 13 million years old ape living in what is now Spain may have been the last common father of all apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans. (Photo source: CRIENGLISH.com/Reuters)

  The fossil gives us a missing link, not directly between humans and an apelike ancestor, but between great apes and lesser apes such as gibbons.

    His name was Pierolapithecus catalaunicus and he had a stiff lower spine and flexible wrists, which showed that he was a tree-climbing specialist,the researchers write in this week's issue of the journal Science.

    "This probably is very close to the last common ancestor of great apes and humans," said Salvador Moya-Sola of the Miguel Crusafont Institute of Paleontology in Barcelona, Spain, who led the study.

    His colleague Meike Kohler said that it would have looked something like a modern chimpanzee and probably ate fruit.

    "I would call it a missing link, because it really fills a gap," she added.

    Old world monkeys, which now live in Africa and Asia about 25 million years ago, split off from the line and they eventually led to apes.

    The great apes -- orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and humans -- are believed to have branched off from the lesser apes such as gibbons and siamangs about 11 million to 16 million years ago.

    An estimated seven million years ago, humans branched off from chimpanzees. Enditem

    (Agencies)

  Related Story
Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.